So you can read my books

Friday, June 9, 2017


"It is my great and now useless regret 
that I never wrote anything really worthy 
of her attention, 
no book that I could dedicate to her."
- Raymond Chandler 
(of regretting never having 
dedicated a book to his wife)

Why should authors write dedications in their novels?

Well, take Christopher Moore's dedication to LAMB which persuaded me to buy the book:

If you have come to this book for laughter, may you find it.

If you have come to be offended, may your ire rise and blood boil

If you seek an adventure, may this story sing you away to blissful escape.

If you need to test or confirm your beliefs, may you reach comfortable conclusions.

All books reveal perfection by what they are and are not.

May you find that which you seek in these pages or outside them.

May you find perfection and know it by name.

Great dedication, right?

A dedication is the first thing a reader sees after the title.  

Sort of important don't you think?

At best, a dedication should be reflective of the book's content, an inviting taste of what is to come.

Sadly, many dedications are dreary, non-inviting catalogues 

of favorite aunts, perfect spouses and the profoundest platitudes. 

Dedications really do tend to bring out the worst in authors.

But with a little effort on your part, dedications can be moving or funny ... or both.

With a bit more thought, you can strive to compose one that is timely yet timeless --

You may fail at that but the effort will improve the dedication over one done just out of rote.

If you bore the reader with your dedication, she may decide the book itself is only more of the same.

Brrr, right? 

I, myself, am very glad I wrote this dedication for HIBBS, THE CUB WITH NO CLUE:

To Sandra Thrasher.

I ask forgiveness from the children who read this book for dedicating it to a grown-up.

I have a serious reason: she is my best friend in the world.

I have another reason: this grown-up understands everything, even books for children.

I have a third reason: she is fighting a cruel illness.  She needs a smile.

If all these reasons are not enough, I will dedicate this book to the child from whom this grown-up grew.

All grown-ups were once children -- although few of them remember it.

And so I correct my dedication:

To Sandra Thrasher when she was a little girl.


  1. I write dedications for my novels, but nothing really fancy or catchy. Just seems the appropriate thing to do for the individual and for the work.

    1. Hooks at the beginning of our books seem important to me -- and dedications hint of the author's prose to me.

      But each of us must find his own way, right? ;-)

  2. "Dedications really do tend to bring out the worst in authors." Yeah, they can. A close friend of mine dedicated her first novel to her mother, her daughter, and her brother -- her husband was her ex-husband by then, so he didn't count -- but noticeable in his absence was her other brother. I've always wondered what that second brother thought of that.

    And I really like the dedication you wrote for Hibbs, the Cub with No Clue.

    1. Yes, I wonder about how the 2nd brother felt, too. Words are powerful things ... especially in their absence.

      Thanks for liking Hibbs' dedication. The good thing is that Sandra read it. :-0

  3. I dedicated my last novel to all the insecure writers in the world. I thought that was appropriate. Anything I write should give them hope.

    1. Seeing how you started IWSG that only makes sense and gives a nod to all your supporters. ;-)

  4. Hi Roland - something I need to think about ... mull over, so when the time comes my idea is there. Hibbs' dedication to Sandra as a child ... is one to consider to - to the child before they reach maturity ... while Alex' makes sense ...

    Cheers Hilary

    1. I thought to make Sandra's dedication as unique as she was. Thanks for liking it. :-)

  5. I always read the dedications. They make me wonder who that person is or was and why the author chose to dedicate the book to them. There's a story behind those dedications.

    1. Yes, like you I always think of the dedications as a mystery that touches upon who the author really is.

      Sorry for the delay. I worked 18 hours straight Sunday, staggering into my apartment as 7:33 this morning!

      And my heart is still heavy from losing my best friend of 27 years.

      Thanks for being my friend, Lee.